Bairstow says IPL experience key to ace Sri Lanka spin test

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Colombo

England’s Jonny Bairstow said Thursday that his experience of facing top spinners in the Indian Premier League has prepared him well for Sri Lanka’s pitches ahead of his return to Test cricket.
Bairstow, a regular in the limited-overs England side, last played a five-day game in December 2019 but is expected to make the starting XI in the two-Test series starting in Galle on January 14.
Bairstow, 31, scored a century in his last one-day international and then amassed 345 runs in the IPL Twenty20 tournament for Sunrisers Hyderabad between September-November.
Bairstow said playing top spinners including Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Indian players in the Hyderabad squad for six to eight weeks in the IPL was “great, to be honest”.
“Coming into similar conditions, we haven’t got a long run-in,” the wicketkeeper-batsman told reporters after his team’s second training session in Hambantota.
“So calling those experiences, whether that be when we went to Bangladesh, when we went to playing India or another couple of tours – they all come into it.” Bairstow, who has played 70 Tests at a batting average of under 35, said he enjoys batting at number three but was open to playing in any position in the order.—AP